Many retailers especially, stumble on this, either having resources controlling both replenishment stock and internal planning as a shared task, or having small centralised teams managing inventory across all categories. Given the internal pressures placed on these staff, it’s often the case that managing replenishment and stock flow takes a back seat. In addition, the centralised model means that the inventory management specialist is disconnected from the Buying Team. This can lead to missed opportunities where the centralised team is not strategically aligned to the category and the Buyer does not have the ability to execute tactical opportunities in timely manner. A better approach is to have an inventory management specialist within a Buying category who is accountable to both the Buyer and the Planner. This ensures nimbleness and accountability.
Additionally, for vendors, having an inventory specialist within a category ensures that collaboration can occur in a framework that still fulfils all the internal processes of how stock and orders should flow. What do the numbers really say?